Ellen Call Long retained control of The Grove when Richard Keith Call died in 1862. Richard split the property between his two surviving daughters, Mary Call and Ellen Long.
Image Number: PC4293
Maurice Thompson's novel, A Tallahassee Girl (1881), was set at The Grove and based on Ellen's daughter, Eleanora "Nonie" Long Hollinger.
A prolific author, Ellen published on silkworm culture, the Battle of New Orleans, and Florida history. Ellen's literary account of Florida history, titled Florida Breezes (1883), is considered a valuable mix of fact and embellishment about frontier Florida gleaned mostly from discussions with her father.
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Ellen may have been the first white child born in Leon County, Florida. She was the daughter of Richard Keith Call and Mary Letitia Kirkman. Ellen authored several books, including Florida Breezes (1883).
Much of the land originally owned by Richard Keith Call was gradually sold off for financial reasons.
Like other women to follow her at The Grove, Ellen was an entrepreneur. In order to hold onto the family home, she devised various strategies to earn income.
Ellen was the first resident to operate The Grove as a hotel, intermittently admitting travelers into her home beginning in the mid-1870s. Ellen also built detached greenhouses to grow vegetables and even produced silk in several rooms of the home.
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Ellen became well known for her skills in silk culture and received letters from around the state and nation soliciting advice on silkworms.
From her labors, Ellen presented a large silk flag to Edward Aylsworth Perry on the occasion of his inauguration as Governor of Florida in 1885. In addition to silk culture, limited agricultural activities continued at The Grove and at the Orchard Pond plantation until at least the early 1870s.
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This flag was made of silk from silkworms raised in Tallahassee by Ellen Call Long at The Grove and presented to Governor Edward Aylsworth Perry at his inauguration.
Image Number: PR12068
This is believed to be the oldest known photograph of The Grove. Note the glass windows below the front porch. These windows provided sunlight for Ellen's agricultural pursuits, particularly the silkworms kept under the front porch. During this time, the stairs exited to the left side of the porch.
Ellen was forced to sell many parcels of land surrounding her childhood home. By 1887, The Grove constituted only 13 of its original 640 acres.
Until her death in 1905, Ellen tried vigorously to convince the State of Florida to buy the property. When the state refused, she was forced to sell additional parcels and household furnishing to make ends meet.
Henry Flagler purchased two stone tablets from Ellen which he placed near the entrance to his home, Whitehall, in Palm Beach. The stone tablets had been recovered from the Spanish fort San Marcos de Apalachee and obtained at some point by Richard Keith Call.
Image Number: N044980
Note the south-facing stairs extending from the front porch. These stairs replaced the glass windows visible in the above photograph.